Monday, September 14, 2015

Turnaround plans spreading wings under new AI chief

New Delhi: Ashwani Lohani, the new chairman & managing director of loss-making state-owned airline Air India, is giving final touches to a multi-pronged revival plan to make the company financially independent in two years.

According to senior airline executives, the plan's thrust will be rationalising loss-making routes and cost control, increasing the seat load factor with greater emphasis on improving revenue per seat, better aircraft availability and a focus on passenger safety and amenities.

A committee has been set up to rationalise Air India's routes. This five-member committee is expected to give its report within a week, after which the airline management will take a decision on whether some existing routes would be discontinued or new routes adopted.

Only nine of the airline's 370 daily flights were making profits, according to a written reply in the Lok Sabha from Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma, in November last year. Of these nine, six were flights in the domestic sector and the rest on international routes.
14/09/15 Somesh Jha/Business Standard
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